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delayed/deferred/denied rank advancement after BOR. Why?


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#1 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:34 AM

We had a BOR for a scout to earn his Star rank who was asked to reappear before the board in 2 weeks. I am interested in a couple of things, one of which is if the committee should provide, in writing, the reason why the scout is asked to return. We read the policy in the 2013 Guide To Advancement and there was a difference of opinion in the interpretation. And secondly, and more importantly, for what specific reasons can (or should) a scout should be delayed/deferred/denied rank advancement after a BOR. The scout had all requirements signed off in his book, held his position as the troop librarian for 4 months and 1 week and completed a specific task asked of him by the SM in his position and has more than the required number of merit badges, both Eagle required and not. The scout is 13 years old.
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#2 scoutldr

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:00 AM

The scout should not leave the BOR not understanding why he was not approved. If he was asked to come back in two weeks, he should be clear on what the board is expecting to see/hear when he comes back.
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#3 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:05 AM

He was asked to come back in 2 weeks to show some sort of "leadership" while doing a scout skill. He is choosing to set up a tent. I guess to show that he can teach something to someone.
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#4 qwazse

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:22 AM

Boyscouts love paperwork ... So put it in writing. That said, this isn't that unusual. Ask the SM if he thinks the decision is reasonable. Usually, the SM conference nips these issues in the bud. It's odd that this issue wasn't identified before the BoR.
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#5 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:37 AM

The SM is furious and threatened to quit, actually it is all I can do to keep him from leaving right now. The reason given was that they would "like the boy to show more leadership" the reason he gave to the committee was he had a "gut feeling" the boy wasn't ready and if he "showed up in 6 mos for a Life BOR he would be eaten alive" There were 4 of us on the board. The CC who is stepping down next month after 19 years, his unilateral appointee for his replacement who was SM form 2000-2004 and has been on the committee since (she shows up for Eagle BOR and some Life, he has been to exactly 7 committee meetings in the last 7 years, I counted), our brand new, as of this month, COR who has been involved in scouting for about a year and a half, and myself who has been on the committee for 4 years and have been pretty well trained (my husband is the district training chair and I have attended our council's all day training pow wow for the last 3 years)
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#6 Stosh

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:45 AM

It could be an issue that came up from the time the requirements were signed off and the convening of the BOR. I'm sure the boy was told what was necessary to be done in the two week time period when the Board reconvenes. Whether or not the boy wishes to make that public knowledge is up to the boy. If the BOR is going to be nothing more than a chit-chat with the boy, with no re-testing, no re-viewing, no questions asked, kind of thing, then I would say, just do away with the process. Obviously the Board had some concerns, that's why it's there. They didn't say NO, they just said, take a couple of weeks to "fix" the Board's concerns and then they're done. If this process didn't occur occasionally, I would seriously question the quality of the BOR's work. I don't think it needs to be in writing. I'm sure the boy knew exactly why the Board was hesitant. The issue is between the BOR and the boy. Everyone else needs to MYOB. Stosh
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#7 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:01 AM

I thought a BOR was to talk with the scout to indirectly evaluate that he has completed the rank requirements (no retesting), to see how the troop is running from the scout's perspective so the committee can evaluate how well the troop is running it's program and give feedback to the scoutmaster, to encourage the boy to continue his journey in scouting, to be sure he is living his life according to the scout oath and law, and to provide interactions with adults. I think the vague thing is the question about if he is getting our of the program what he should be. How do we qualify that and how do we tell a scout what we expect? I am not saying we should "rubber stamp" everyone but what is the standard?
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#8 Stosh

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:22 AM

While one always has a tendency to jump to conclusions, could it also be possible that the boy was relating his experience with the troop and providing some excellent feedback to the BOR that they simply ran out of time. "Joe has a family commitment next week so we can't reconvene then, but let's get together in two weeks to continue this great discussion." :) Why does the mind always jump to the worse case scenario? I find that MYOB helps me sleep better at night. If I were the SM of this troop, I would simply let the boy know that I was available to talk if there is something that went on in the BOR that he feels I might be able to help him with. After all, I might be the person that is the problem, too. It's not my job to interfere, just to help. Stosh
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#9 KenDavis500

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:45 AM

Andysmom - I'm confused. You said you were one of the 4 on the board, but you don't know the reason the Scout was asked to come back?
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#10 Hueymungus

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:04 AM

The Board is not trained in what a Board does. The Scout does not leave the BOR without knowing why. It's not a re-test/testing. The SM and Advancement Chair of the Troop should review all requirements before going to a SM/BOR. Though a SM can be had at anytime for any reason.
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#11 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:04 AM

Andysmom - I'm confused. You said you were one of the 4 on the board, but you don't know the reason the Scout was asked to come back?


That is exactly my point.
The committee chair stated that he didn't feel the scout was ready for star.
He wanted to see some leadership from him.
He wanted to slow him down.
He said he wanted to use the fact that the date in his handbook for when he started his POR was 8/14 (he needs 4 mos) as an "out"

The scout wasnt in the room for any of this.

I threatened to walk out.

The scout was asked what his best scout skill was. He said camping. He was asked to be more specific, what was he really good at. He said setting up a tent. He was told that "a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step, he has gone 999 miles of that journey and they the committee wants to see that he can provide leadership" they asked him to come back in 2 weeks and set up a tent, he could "even use a troop tent", but set the tent up for us so we can see that that he can lead someone to doing it.

His Dad emailed the SM as said that the scout was pretty upset but that he wants to ace the next board and he is going to have his son email the sm after school so the sm could tell him exactly what he needs to work on. Telling him to set up a tent sounds silly, especially when he has to demonstrate leadership doing it. The 2 committee members couldnt tell specifically what they look for in a star scout saying that it varies by the boy.
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#12 andysmom

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:15 AM

I am not claiming to know everything, that's why I come here and read message boards and subscribe to newsletters and take training and read the policy guides. I think what happened to this scout was wrong. He is a good scout. I am at 99.9% of meetings, I have spent time at camp because we dont have enough other leaders to step up so I have been the 2nd adult. I know these boys. He should have advanced. I feel bullied because I am a woman and havent been in the program as long as they have. They kept saying "in my experience we do an injustice to a boy by advancing him to fast" and "remember so-and-so who made his Eagle in 2008 he was a good scout". I honestly think that if I hadnt put up a fuss they would have asked him to come back in 4 months rather than 2 weeks. On a more personal note, my son completed his SMC for star last night and I feel like I have no idea what the committee (ok these 2 leaders) are looking for.
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#13 KenDavis500

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:37 AM

Recommend to the Committee Chair that ALL Committee members get training for Board of Reviews. Our District Advancement Chair gave ours.
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#14 Stosh

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:44 AM

Whoa... I misread the original post. If you were part of this BOR and have inside information the scout was not privy to, there are so many things thus described that are wrong, I would approach the CC and let them reconvene a valid BOR group that knows what they are doing. Sounds like "these two leaders" are adding to requirements that have already been fulfilled, a major no-no in scouting. I hope that the CC is not one of "these two leaders" in that you are really screwed if that is the case. By the way, these separate hoops the BOR is requiring are bogus and outside the scope of the Scout Law. One does not show leadership by setting up tents and I don't believe there is anything in the requirement that says a boy has to show leadership in anything required for Star. In the future I would refuse to sit on any BOR for this troop until they were properly trained and held accountable for their actions. Boy joins at 11, by 12 his could be FC, by 12 yr 4 mo he could be Star. What gives "these two leaders" justification that 13 is too young for Star and they have taken it upon themselves to deal with something that BSA has strictly forbidden? I would get my UC involved with this issue immediately. Stosh
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#15 perdidochas

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:44 AM

We had a BOR for a scout to earn his Star rank who was asked to reappear before the board in 2 weeks. I am interested in a couple of things, one of which is if the committee should provide, in writing, the reason why the scout is asked to return. We read the policy in the 2013 Guide To Advancement and there was a difference of opinion in the interpretation. And secondly, and more importantly, for what specific reasons can (or should) a scout should be delayed/deferred/denied rank advancement after a BOR.

The scout had all requirements signed off in his book, held his position as the troop librarian for 4 months and 1 week and completed a specific task asked of him by the SM in his position and has more than the required number of merit badges, both Eagle required and not. The scout is 13 years old.


A specific task for 4 months and a week to count as a POR? Two weeks isn't that much of a delay.

That said, slowing him down just to slow him down isn't justified. In our troop, we do have boys that "fail" at their PORs, and have to start fresh or do a Scoutmaster approved leadership project.
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#16 T2Eagle

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:50 AM

This kind of stuff drives me nuts. We require that scouts be trained, tested, and reviewed on their skills. We don't require much of any of that from ourselves in the program. Whatever might be the good intentions of the CC here he is acting contrary to the process as it is set up, and thereby doing a disservice to his scouts.

It is not the role of the CC or the BOR to "feel" whether a scout is ready for star, nor to determine the speed of his advancement, nor to demand more leadership from him than is required for the rank.

It would be appropriate for him to provide the scout with his opinion as to ways to better experience personal growth by encouraging him to seek to build his leadership skills or by asking him to contemplate whether he is focusing too much on quick advancement to the detriment of his full experience with the program. That's all fine, but scouts don't need to heed every bit of advice they receive and so long as they are completing the requirements they should be recognized and celebrated for doing so. If the CC thinks that the troop's program isn't providing the necessary opportunities then he should take that up with the SM.

As to your specific questions about written notice, you should have taken a vote as to whether to award the rank. If the vote wasn't unanimous then that means the scout was rejected, if that's the case here are the relevant quotes from the GTA.

"A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements."
"In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures. (See"Appealing a Decision,"8.0.4.0, "


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#17 Stosh

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:52 AM


A specific task for 4 months and a week to count as a POR? Two weeks isn't that much of a delay.


It is if the requirements don't ask for it! POSITION OF RESPONSIBILITY is not a POSITION OF LEADERSHIP. The scout was a librarian and now he has to teach someone how to set up a tent???? Am I that far off base that this sounds like some kind of a controlling adult vendetta stance? I can see why the SM was ready to quit.

This BOR needs to

1) reconvene immediately,
2) call the boy in and extend a full apology for being stupid.
3) Sign off for his earned award
4) get some training so this never happens again.

Stosh
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#18 T2Eagle

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:58 AM

Andysmom, as to what you should do, my suggestion would be to take the long view. This scout is almost certainly going to complete the silly added on requirement that the CC is imposing and become Star in two weeks. Rather than argue about this specific case, use it as evidence that there is a wide variance among the committee about what a BOR should be. See if you can get the committee to meet to try to find a consensus about this issue, take the opportunity to have some training materials available, and ask to have someone from the District (not your husband) come in to provide some guidance. Hopefully, an approach that says we should all be on the same page so it's consistent for all our scouts, will put you all in better compliance with the program.
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#19 qwazse

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:59 AM

Although I'd agree with Ken, my wager is these two are too proud to get trained, and AndysMom is stuck in the middle with them. I'm an ASM, and if this stunt was pulled in my troop I'd be livid. Committees have faulted boys for not showing up with their books, being out of uniform, etc ... and allowed the boy to come back next week with that one thing corrected. It wrankled, but not the end of the world.

This sounds like their definition of "leadership" conflicts with the SM's. Heck it sounds like you all are divided on the definition of what makes a "star scout" (the concept, not the patch). Next committee meeting, you all need to get on the same page.

Meanwhile, the boy ... the SM should take his side, give him a call, and ask "Since we've been given a hoop, what is the most fun way to jump through it?"

- Get a two (or more) tarp ropes and walking sticks. Lead a patrol race to assemble a shelter.
- Get a hose or shovel snow on it to determine which patrol's shelter holds the best.
- Call the national guard armory, maybe they have a 24 man tent that could be set up.
- Blindfold the rest of the patrol, direct them into setting up (and taking down) the tent.

This might involve calling an emergency PLC to adjust the meeting agenda, but if the adults are throwing lemons, gang up and make them some lemonade to throw back in their faces!
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#20 CalicoPenn

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:19 AM

You and the Scoutmaster need to go to the COR right now and tell her that she gets rid of the new Committee Chair, right now, or you walk and take every single boy that you can out of that Troop and to a new unit. Your new CC is going to poison that unit, and there is no training in the world that is going to change this guys mind.
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